Completed in 1515, Hampton Court was Henry VIII’s favorite summer residence. It epitomized Tudor fashion and style.
Designed by Henry’s closest advisor, Thomas Wolsey, Hampton Court Palace was originally conceived as Wolsey’s own home—as a reward to himself for becoming Cardinal in 1515.
Sparing no expense, Wolsey used glittering painted red brick with a black diamond pattern, white mortar joints and dozens of decorative chimneys—the largest collection in England.
Its opulence provoked gossip that it was finer than any of the King’s own palaces. So Wolsey smartly deflected criticism by saying he had built it for Henry all along.